31st Academy Awards

The 31st Academy Awards ceremony was held on April 6, 1959, to honor the best films of 1958. The show's producer, Jerry Wald, started cutting numbers from the show to make sure it ran on time. He cut too much material and the ceremony ended 20 minutes early, leaving Jerry Lewis to attempt to fill in the time. Eventually, NBC cut to a re-run of a sports show.

The film Gigi won nine Oscars, breaking the previous record of eight (set by Gone with the Wind and tied by From Here to Eternity and On the Waterfront). It would be short-lived, however, as Ben-Hur broke the record with eleven Oscars the following year.

Gigi was the last film until The Last Emperor (1987) to win Best Picture without any acting nominations. It also had the biggest clean sweep at the time, winning all nine of its nominations, a record that would be tied by The Last Emperor. This record was broken in 2003 when The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King won all 11 of its nominations.

The ceremony was hosted by an ensemble of actors: Jerry Lewis, Mort Sahl, Tony Randall, Bob Hope, David Niven, and Laurence Olivier. Niven won Best Actor that night, making him the only host in Oscar history to have won an award during the same ceremony.[1]

31st Academy Awards
31st Acad Awards
People lining the street under the marquee of the Pantages Theater at the 31st Academy Awards.
DateApril 6, 1959
SitePantages Theatre, Hollywood, California, USA
Hosted byJerry Lewis, Mort Sahl, Tony Randall, Bob Hope, David Niven, and Laurence Olivier
Produced byJerry Wald
Directed byAlan Handley
Best PictureGigi
Most awardsGigi (9)
Most nominationsThe Defiant Ones and Gigi (9)
TV in the United States


Winners are listed first and highlighted with boldface[2]

Best Motion Picture Best Director
Best Actor Best Actress
Best Supporting Actor Best Supporting Actress
Best Story and Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen Best Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium
Best Foreign Language Film
Best Documentary Feature Best Documentary Short Subject
Best Live Action Short Subject Best Short Subject – Cartoons
Best Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture Best Scoring of a Musical Picture
Best Song Best Sound
Best Art Direction Best Costume Design
Best Cinematography, Black-and-White Best Cinematography, Color
Best Film Editing Best Special Effects

Academy Honorary Award

  • Maurice Chevalier “for his contributions to the world of entertainment for more than half a century.”

Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award

Presenters and performers



Multiple nominations and awards

These films had multiple nominations:

  • 9 nominations: The Defiant Ones, Gigi
  • 7 nominations: Separate Tables
  • 6 nominations: Auntie Mame, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, and I Want to Live!
  • 5 nominations: Some Came Running
  • 3 nominations: A Certain Smile, The Old Man and the Sea, South Pacific, and The Young Lions
  • 2 nominations: Bell, Book and Candle, The Big Country, Houseboat, Journey Into Spring, Teacher's Pet, Vertigo, and White Wilderness

The following films received multiple awards.

  • 9 wins: Gigi
  • 2 wins: The Defiant Ones and Separate Tables

See also


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-02-21. Retrieved 2015-02-20.
  2. ^ "The 31st Academy Awards (1959) Nominees and Winners". oscars.org. Archived from the original on 6 July 2011. Retrieved 2011-08-21.

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